There are different types of advice available to clients depending on thier individual circumstances, but, as you will already know, all our services are limited to our organisation’s remit.
We have developed the NCAN Four Tier Model of Advice to set out some key distinctions between information, advice, and related support. This is to facilitate a consistent approach to understanding and mapping advice services available in Norfolk.
Clients deserve the best quality advice we can provide. To ensure this, a focus on quality needs to be embedded at all organisational and operational levels and be reflected in a culture of continuous improvement. We believe that the best way to achieve this is to have is an externally awarded quality mark. Organisations that have done this are Accredited Members.
The Advice Quality Standard mark requires evidence in the following areas:
- Access to the service
- Seamless service
- Running the organisation
- People management
- Running the service
- Meeting client’s needs
- Commitment to quality
- For more information about the evidence requirements, please visit the pages on the AQS.
The AQS requires services to undertake regular file reviews to assure the accuracy of the advice given.
- Services must regularly review their advice work to ensure that all practitioners are giving accurate advice
The AQS award lasts for a total of 2 years and then expires
- During that time, the service is licensed to display the AQS on their publicity materials and correspondence
- They are expected to work to ensure all requirements of the AQS continue to be met by their service and to actively develop their service beyond the minimum requirement
- Services must reply for the AQS before the expiry date otherwise the AQS will lapse at the second anniversary
However, if an organisation does not have a relevant quality mark we believe that this does not preclude a quality advice service. We would therefore expect that advice services should at least have the following in place:
• A Strategy or Development Plan for your service for the next three years
• An Equality and Diversity Policy
• A Complaints and Feedback Policy and Procedure
• Policies that ensure advice given is impartial, independent and confidential
• A procedure for recording the advice given and action taken
• A procedure for checking the quality of the advice
• A Training and Development policy
• A procedure to ensure advisors have access to the information they need and this is kept up to date
• Professional Indemnity Insurance
In terms of a procedure for checking the quality of advice, we endorse the Advice Quality Standard established that there should be adequate information in case records around the following areas:
• Establishing the facts and diagnosing the problems
• Action or support
• Signposting and referral
• Advice records